0 comments / Posted on by Erin Gates

I have to take a fashion break to write a little bit about my husband, Andrew, on the occasion of his 40th birthday tomorrow.  You have gotten to know him through his posts, but that only gives you a bit of the picture.

You see, this blog would not be here without him.  My career would not be as successful, in fact, it probably would be completely different.  I might still be slaving away in a cubicle as an insurance broker (yes, I was one for two years before this).  I’ve never been a risk taker, in fact, I am scared shitless of taking risks.  Andrew, on the other hand, embraces them not only as opportunity but also as life’s best teaching lesson.  He’s fallen and gotten back up time and time again, but because of that has become one of the smartest people I know.  But let me go back a little…

We met on Match.com. Yes, the internet has blessed me not only with this amazing career but also with a husband! And 11 years ago, not many people were meeting that way. Certainly not my peers, one year out of college.  As fate had it, my inability to talk to men in bars and his post-divorce uncertainty in the dating scene caused us to meet.  We were each others first and ONLY date on Match. Hey, when it works, it works.  But it wasn’t love at first sight.  It took us a while to find our stride, mostly because I was a very confused 22 year old.  After stumbling a bit, we did figure it out and before I knew it I had a ring on my finger.  Through the years we’ve had high highs and low lows- challenges that we thought might break us, but knowing deep down that we were in it together for long haul.

He’s been my biggest cheerleader, encouraging me from day one.  He was the one who urged me to quit my job and pursue my dream (supporting us while I did it) and never ONCE has been threatened by my success. In fact, no one is prouder.  His career took a little longer to figure out, but I think he finally has.  He’s worked so hard to get where he is- getting his master’s degree nights and weekends while running his own company, and then starting over in a new industry when he decided where he was wasn’t where he wanted to be.  He’s taken risks with start-ups and tried working for a huge company, and now finally seems happier than ever where he is. It’s so nice to see him so inspired, just as I feel every day.

But I do think he has another calling- as a motivational speaker.  The man gives me the BEST speeches to get me out of my “I can’t do it!!!” funks.  He does this for everyone in his family.  We all roll our eyes a little when we hear we are about to get “a talk” from Andrew, but I know every single person on the receiving end appreciates them immensely.  He cares SO much about everyone he loves- there is never any doubt about that.  He takes time to let people know that too, and I think that’s rare in this world.  He still opens my car door, every single time, after 11 years.  He does my laundry and folds it.  Grocery shops.  Paints rooms and re-paints them when I think it’s “a little off” (but not without a serious eye roll). Adores our dogs and proudly walks them even though they are little and fancy. :) Supports me when I go off my rocker. Loves me despite my deep flaws, and sometime because of them.

I am a very lucky woman.

I know he is going to be one of the best fathers on the planet, I believe this deep down to my core.  I really hope that this will be the year I can give him the ability to do just that.  I can’t wait to see him with a little one of our own, teaching them to be brave while simultaneously giggling with them over farts.

Andrew, I love you.  You are a wonderful husband, devoted son, brother and cousin, amazing friend and the world is better because you are in it.  I am so glad I get to grow old with you.  Happy 40th birthday.

** After renovating our kitchen I couldn’t give Andrew what I really wanted to give him for his birthday (he’s still going to have a good birthday though, don’t worry).  But here is my dream birthday for Andrew (with a little fashion thrown in- it IS Friday after all and the man likes to look good):


1) A kick ass new blazer. This one is tough meets slick by Belstaff.

2) A Newfoundland puppy. They are his absolute favorite.

3) A vintage Rolex Sea Dweller.  He tried one on years ago and fell hard for it. Like me and my dream Love bracelet.

4) A nice pair of jeans tailored for his 6′ 4″ frame (it’s hard to find them).

5) An aged 21 years bottle of scotch. “I love Scotch, scotchy, scotch scotch…”

6) A crazy comfy cashmere zip neck sweater (to be layerd under blazer with the jeans and a collared shirt- my FAVORITE look).

7) This notebook to jot down all his big business ideas (and I love the cover because he is always telling me “Everything is not black and white! It’s grey!”)

8) An awesome ping pong table for the basement so he can have epic hours long matches like he does at my parent’s house with my brothers on holidays.

9) A shiny new BMW X5, his favorite car. He’s had a couple before and sold his last one when things got a little tight a few years ago.  I would love for him to have his dream car again. He so deserves it.

10) A first class flight to Paris for a week to stay HERE.  No city makes us happier as a couple.


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